A key factor during the historic losing streak the Los Angeles Dodgers endured was Corey Seager battling a sore right elbow. It eventually limited him to pinch-hit duty for a week and time off to complete a throwing program that paved the way for his return to the lineup.
Seager hardly looked his usual self since the elbow injury became public knowledge in mid-August, save for occasional flashes. A few of those came down the stretch of the season, when Seager said he’d found some rhythm at the plate.
“It was late in the year, taking that time (off) was difficult,” Seager said prior to Game 2 of the National League Division Series. He and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts each said the elbow discomfort did not have an impact on his production at the plate.
Seager was among the Dodgers who participated in simulated games during workouts leading up to the NLDS. Aside from still searching for “some feelings,” he’s not keen on time off or rest.
The 23-year-old nonetheless is aware that was part of the plan put in place to mitigate elbow trouble. “The trainers and strength coaches have been fantastic with helping put a plan together and staying to the plan and maintaining it, basically,” Seager said.
“Just pain management. That was the thing from the start was to not change mechanics and hurt something else. Just maintain the pain to where it’s okay to go out and play. It’s not an issue and it’s not too much to handle.”
Although there were bouts of frustration from Seager, Roberts also championed the Dodgers for keeping the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year in position to play and contribute on a regular basis. “I think we did a great job with as an organization. He might disagree. He would play 162 games if he could,” Roberts said.
“But it was just more of trying to keep him strong through October, and obviously battling a little bit with that elbow and trying to manage it. The communication with Corey was very clear. Maybe not agreeable at all times, but it was clear from our perspective. I think he’s in a great place.”
Seager went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI in Game 1 of the NLDS, but only 1-for-4 and struck out three times the following night.